Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Helping A Stranger Is Still Helping

One of our fellow poker bloggers, ViNNay, who I've slung a few chips with in bloggermnets over time (but not yet had the pleasure of meeting), has shared the sad story of a dear friend and neighbor.

This fellow sadly lost his house to a fire on Christmas Eve, started by a tenant who lived in a basement apartment. Even more sadly, Jeff's cat Maurice perished in the fire.

You can read the story and see the news coverage at http://helpjeffout.blogspot.com/

Jeff did have homeowner's insurance, but that isn't expected to cover much more than the existing mortgage and the cost of the demolition service. Even worse, Jeff's been laid off from his manufacturing job.

It may be after Christmas Day, but this is still a time for coming together and doing what we can. I'll be sending in a donation later today. Would you please join me?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Blogging Back to the Real World

Another Christmas come and gone...

Great times for the Good Doctor Mondo and myself. We shared a mostly low key holiday weekend full of good food, relaxation, good music, and the like...

Highlights? The New Ben Franklins gig last Friday at the Larimer Lounge. It's been a really long time since I've played in front of so many people. I mean, only about 20 or so actually entered the venue on New Ben Franklins' tickets, but by 1/3 of the way through our set, there must have been 60 or so actually standing by the stage paying attention. I must say, that felt really really good. We play music because we want to, and because we need to, but it's always gratifying to see a crowd get larger as you go. In addition, the Denver City Saltlicks played a blistering set of punk Appalachia, and Brent Loveday's solo stuff was real cool. I missed out on Rosalie, as I'd headed to the end of the block to catch the Mike Marchant/Andy Hamilton set at the Meadowlark Tavern.

Yesterday, I finally got back to some online poker, for the first time in over a week. While it was a down session overall, I had fun, and nearly made a deep run in a $5 rebuy PLO8 event, where I was 17th of 64 remaining (550-something started), when variance finally bit me on the ass on two consecutive hands. At that point, I was 62nd of 62, with less than 1 BB left. Hey, chip and a chair! I then doubled up twice over two hands, when the following took place:

PokerStars Game #23345405722: Tournament #127699547, $5.00+$0.50 Omaha Hi/Lo Pot Limit - Level XVII (2000/4000) - 2008/12/28 17:56:55 ET
Table '127699547 30' 9-max Seat #7 is the button
Seat 1: Mondogarage (7692 in chips)
Seat 2: karo1102 (47246 in chips)
Seat 3: axxu73 (27776 in chips)
Seat 4: EVitoy (40564 in chips)
Seat 5: Realtorcraig (36724 in chips)
Seat 6: magawatt (91741 in chips)
Seat 7: Coachmendeal (19519 in chips)
Seat 8: WoosPigs (65110 in chips)
Seat 9: buyingthepot (35920 in chips)
WoosPigs: posts small blind 2000
buyingthepot: posts big blind 4000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Mondogarage [8d 7h Ah Ac]
Mondogarage: raises 3692 to 7692 and is all-in (I think this is a std play here)
karo1102: calls 7692
axxu73: folds
EVitoy: folds
Realtorcraig: folds
magawatt: folds
Coachmendeal: folds
WoosPigs: folds
buyingthepot: calls 3692
*** FLOP *** [6d Jc Qd]
buyingthepot: bets 25076
karo1102: calls 25076
*** TURN *** [6d Jc Qd] [9c]
buyingthepot: bets 3152 and is all-in
karo1102: calls 3152
*** RIVER *** [6d Jc Qd 9c] [Qc]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
buyingthepot: shows [5c 5s Kd Td] (HI: a straight, Nine to King)
karo1102: shows [2s 6c As Kh] (HI: two pair, Queens and Sixes)
buyingthepot collected 56456 from side pot
Mondogarage: shows [8d 7h Ah Ac] (HI: two pair, Aces and Queens)
buyingthepot collected 25076 from main pot
No low hand qualified
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 81532 Main pot 25076. Side pot 56456. | Rake 0
Board [6d Jc Qd 9c Qc]
Seat 1: Mondogarage showed [8d 7h Ah Ac] and lost with HI: two pair, Aces and Queens
Seat 2: karo1102 showed [2s 6c As Kh] and lost with HI: two pair, Queens and Sixes
Seat 9: buyingthepot (big blind) showed [5c 5s Kd Td] and won (81532) with HI: a straight, Nine to King

I can't fault his flop call of karo1102's bet, but damn, you really play that hand preflop? No low draw possible, one low pair, one suit, and no A? Really?

So what was a decent chance at a run at $1500 turned into $26. Got river-raped on Bodog a couple spots before the $$$, and took a min-cash there in another tourney.

Really, the worst beat of all was I was unable to play in the PokerStars Guiness World Record attempt. 35,000 players, and I even tried to register 16 HOURS before the tourney started, and it was already full. I finally had a Sunday to play, and couldn't play in the one tournament I was trying to sign up for. If I hadn't satellited into the Double Deuce (which I busted out of Q high flush to K high flush (cutoff thought he'd play his K4 'cause it was soooooooted), I would have skipped the rest of the day. Sixteen hours is like an eternity in online tournament registration -- I'm utterly flummoxed and disappointed that I couldn't get into that event.

Less than "almost", I suppose, but I did enjoy the play for the most part. I've learned that the play in the rebuy Omaha events seems to get far worse after the bubble than even in the first two hours. That's something like three rebuy Omaha events in a row where I've got taken out in the money by obnoxious "barely have any draw at all" preflop calls in spots where the player making the call can't think they're doing anything but donating chips. If this keeps up, I have to make a deep run in this thing, sometime.

Anyway, it was a fun holiday all the way around nonetheless.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What Celebrations May Come

Whatever it is you may celebrate this week, be it:

Merry ChristmaHanukwanzakah
Post winter solstice pagan nekkid dancing
J E T S losses giving Dolphin titles
a Holiday in Cambodia
beating expert level at Rock Band Christmas Edition

or whether you're just celebrating dragging a huge pot on the river in your next online poker game,

May your own celebrations be joyous and safe this year.

And may all of our troops soon be on our own shores.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When Levity Is Called For

Okay, in an attempt to see what the fuss is really about, I downloaded* the new and improved Ultimate Bet software:

Which one should I pick?

*and by "downloaded", I of course refer to saving a pic found on 2+2 on my system.

Can You Feel the Hate?

I guess I should have expected to receive the kinds of comments I saw on my blog (and other blogs) regarding my post yesterday on Ultimate Bet (and my thoughts on those who choose to play there).

Most of the comments can be summed up in one of two ways:

1. How dare you question any one else's moral compass? You're a douche for even having the opinion that playing there is bad.

2. How dare you invoke Iraq into your discussion? You're a douche for insulting the morals of any former military members who served in Iraq and now choose to play at Ultimate Bet?

I'll answer the latter first. As I wrote yesterday, "Like, it may be okay to lie to the UN Security Council to justify an invasion of a dictator you don't like, because while you don't have kids in the armed forces, the ends justify the means, but it's not okay for your employer to lie to you about the corporate health of your employer, because YOUR 401k is at stake, so their ends don't justify the means."

I fail to see how any of that is an insult to any member of the military, whether or not they served in Iraq.

But maybe I needed to simplify that statement. Are you someone who felt Saddam Hussein was enough of a bad man that the U.S. government was right to lie to the Security Council in order to get them to support your planned invasion? Yes? So that means you think it is okay to lie sometimes, if the end justifies means you support. Do you also feel it was perfectly okay for companies such as Enron, perhaps Lehman Brothers, or others to lie and fudge numbers to enrich the senior management while lying to their employees about the "real" value of their stock options and retirement plans? If yes, then carry on. If the answer is no, then that means you're okay with people lying sometimes, in order to achieve some ends, but not others. What if you are/were an employee of a company that decieved its lower and middle level employees in order to enrich the very top levels? Does that change your opinion at all?

Irrespective of the merits of that discussion, anyone who reads into that an insult on individual members of the United States military simply doesn't read that well, sorry.

Now, as to the former point, let me play devil's advocate and throw a few hypotheticals out there, for a general theoretical discussion of personal morals and ethics. Hopefully, those who wrote expressing the view that I'm wrong for even holding an opinion that playing at UB requires some moral equivalency will respond.

a. What is your opinion on kidnapping women, taking them to another continent and forcing them into prostitution?

b. What is your opinion on pedophilia?

c. What is your opinion on making women wear burqas and not allowing them to get an education?

d. What is your opinion on selling crack across the street from elementary schools?

My suspicion is that most people would think all three of the above are very wrong, but why is that so? There are probably those who think one (or more) of those activities are fine and dandy, but why is that so? In the other alternative, some people may have no opinion at all on the propriety of any of those activities being right or wrong, but why is that so?

So now, let's assume for purpose of discussion that you're married with a teenage daughter, two younger sons, and a wife who's going to night grad school to get an MBA and enter management.

Your daughter gets kidnapped and taken to Russia to become a forced working girl.

One of your sons gets raped several times by a NAMBLA member.

The other one is smoking crack rocks at the age of 9.

Your wife gets kicked out of school and is forced to quit her job, because the Taliban just took over and made all women quit their schools and jobs.

Are you okay with any of those, because you think it's wrong of you to question anyone's opinions that it's fine to sell crack to elementary school kids, or have sex with young boys, or basic equal treatment to women, or force underaged teens into sex careers, or are you going to do something about it?

My point is that whether you think something is right or wrong, it is impossible to do so without basing your decision on your own moral compass. Saying something is wrong because it's illegal is a copout, because if something is illegal, it is so because some legislative body (or a court) determined it was illegal for reasons that at some point have something to do with its moral compass.

But if you think it's inherently bullshit to have an opinion on the morality of any activity, then by definition, how can you have the opinion that any of those other activities are wrong, and how can you get upset that those things have been inflicted upon your family?

To answer one commenter, yes, "morality [is] an individual issue and choice", but when you say nobody should "judge them for having different beliefs or morals", you're acting like a hypocrit for judging those of us who have different opinions. But that's okay -- as I said yesterday (in the one point that just about everyone seemed to gloss over or ignore), "reasonable minds can differ". Hell, I wore a uniform for years and years to support your right to have a different opinion.

In fact, how can a person have an opinion about anything whatsoever? All opinions are informed to varying degrees by the life experiences, education, and yes, the particular personal ethics or moral compass of the person holding that opinion. Just my .02.

Anyway, I'm not trying to stir up anything but discussion here, but I felt the nature of, and vitriol contained in, some of the comments I received merited further exploration.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What Would You Look Like?

If you were a creation of Trey Parker and Matt Stone? You can show us here. I took a crack, and damn, they don't have the best tools for chubby 43 year olds with greying hair, but this is kinda sorta close enough.

Does Your Compass Point to "D"?

"D" for disappointment, that is?

This post started as a comment on Hoy's latest blog entry, but I felt it bears reposting and expounding upon here.

For the unfamiliar, two of the strongest poker-playing bloggers I know have recently scored a ton of MTT success over at Ultimate Bet Fraud. Without question, Chad and Hoy are two of the most dangerous agressive MTT players out there. Both are clearly talented players, and both have pulled down quite a few significant and well-deserved scores over time. Yet, I'm disappointed in them both. (And yes, I'm fully aware that my disappointment shouldn't, or at least doesn't, matter two shits to either of them.)


Because it's come from playing a site on which founding ownership openly cheated players out of at least hundreds of thousands of dollars. A site that, although since sold, the new ownership (which is actually not much different at all from the previous ownership, by accounts) has simply papered over the scandal by paying restitution to accounts known to have been cheated, but not outing those actually responsible and only describing their response in the vaguest of terms.

Yes, they're on a new network, Cereus. So let's see who else is on that network. That's right, the other known cheating site, Absolute Bet Fraud, owned by the very same people. I won't even accept blog advertising from them, and have turned it down in the past.

Look, we all know that poker is already perceived as a shady proposition (and in some instances, it actually is).

Cereus ownership would like us to simply take them at their word that their site is safe and honest. Let's take a quick look at that, shall we?

Just this past weekend, in a 200/400 Limit HE game, Bet Fraud awarded a pot to the losing hand. This pot was over $4,000 in cash. Not chips, but hard dollars. And just who was the "losing" player in the hand, who had the 2nd best hand at showdown but who raked the pot? None other than Phil Hellmuth, chief spokesperson for Ultimate Bet. In their press release, UB again only vaguely refers to some misawarded pot, without acknowledging that the beneficiary was one of their most insider of insiders.

Here's the thing -- in my eyes, anyone who plays on that site now would seem to have to exercise some real moral equivalency in order to do so. Like, it's not that big a deal that UB cheated players -- after all, as long they haven't cheated you or someone you know, they can't be that bad, right? Something like that. And that if someone displays the moral equivalency in that regard, then their moral compass may be as equivalent in other areas.

Like, it may be okay to lie to the UN Security Council to justify an invasion of a dictator you don't like, because while you don't have kids in the armed forces, the ends justify the means, but it's not okay for your employer to lie to you about the corporate health of your employer, because YOUR 401k is at stake, so their ends don't justify the means. Just a hypothetical...

I think that kind of shifting moral compass is just wrong. And I'm sad that Hoy and Chad appear to value winning money over having a certain amount of principle. It's almost as if they saw that the scandals chased out a lot of the strong players, leaving behind only the fishiest of fish, and they've seen it as a golden opportunity for their advanced poker skills to take advantage of the weak.

My problem with this isn't with the latter part of this equation -- that's just poker. If you suck at poker, you're going to lose your money to someone better, as you should. It's with the former part -- joining a site with a long (and possibly still ongoing) history of cheating players, because the aftereffects of the ongoing scandals have shaped conditions on the ground in your favor (e.g., most of the other strong players have left, giving you a greater edge on the field).

The idea of essentially benefitting from someone else's cheating to put yourself in a better position just ain't cricket, in my book.

Now, I'm pretty certain those guys don't see things the same way. That's certainly their right, and reasonable minds can differ. I'm not even trying in the least to persuade them to leave those sites. Hell, if everyone felt like I felt, there wouldn't be any players on those two sites at all, so clearly, there are differing opinions.

But if you're okay playing on a site known to cheat, then you may be equally okay with playing in a tournament while girly chatting with someone else at your table during the tournament? Then you might just be okay with "just this once" IMing about a hand while its in progress? It's a slippery slope, is all I'm saying.

Back in the (Bass) Saddle

New Ben Franklins played our first show Saturday night. Here it is Monday at work, and I'm still kinda wrecked. Yeah, it was good. And exhausting...I forgot how old one can feel the next day after hauling around amps and speaker cabinets at 2:30 in the morning.

I ended up being totally lame on Sunday and bailed from a show I really wanted to go to last night. To The Fire Drills, my apologies, and my loss -- I'm sure your last show before the Omens' European Tour was as awesome was every other. And I lost yet another chance to see The Getdown! I will get to one of your shows real soon. I really would have enjoyed another Eyes and Ears show, too. My loss.

As far as debut gigs go, it was probably the 2nd best of all the bands I've played in over the years. Our drummer was spot on, the songs went over well, our frontman was in good voice, only that shoddy bass player missed a few stray notes. All in all, I felt we came off well. We actually ended up playing in front of maybe a couple dozen people, which isn't bad for a first gig of an opening act band. More importantly, those who saw us seemed to legitimately enjoy it as much as we enjoyed playing it.

To my favorite Shannon, thanks for round of shots for the band, that certainly helped!

One cool part of playing shows around town is getting on bills with bands you may not have otherwise gone to see. I can state that's the case with regard to Burn Sand Burn, who I'd never seen nor heard before, even though I know they've been kicking around for a while. I just never really thought seeing them, and they didn't happen to be on any bills with other bands I was going out to see on a given night. Well, the one lesson I came away with on Saturday is that Burn Sand Burn is a really good band.

There's really sort of two Burn Sand Burns, in my ears. One plays this kinda post punky, not-quite-hardcore, well crafted punk rock. The other played a much more proggy hard rock with which I'm really not familiar. When you ask what their strong suit it, I can only answer "both". My taste runs towards the former, but every aspect of this band is strong. The highlight is their tight rhythm section, and a bass player with phenomenal tone and skill.

Another cool part of playing shows around town is getting on bills with bands you are a fan of. This is very much true with regard to Primasonic. Now that's a band after my own heart. First, they're a bunch of old fucks like myself. I bet they were as exhausted as I was yesterday. Second, they play a brand of punk rock that reaches right back to 1977, and is reminiscent at times of great English punk bands like The Damned, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, and Sham 69. Third, they do it well, and are nice guys to boot. I once had the opportunity to fill on bass for them for one particular gig, which ultimately got cancelled the day before the show. I'm glad we finally got to do a show together -- playing on a bill with Primasonic is the next best thing to playing with Primasonic.

So yeah, that was pretty much my weekend. The Good Doctor Mondo and I did drive around last night looking at all the purty Christmas lights on houses in the fancy part of Longmont (yes, we actually do have a moneyed part of town; no, we do not live there). And I got her presents all wrapped and under the tree, so it was a bit productive.

I wasn't able to qualify for the WBCOOP, because I missed all the qualifying events. So no online poker for me this past weekend other than Friday. But congratulations to Buddy Dank on his deep run and high finish (12th place). As it turns out, I'm not familiar with any of the other bloggers who finished in the high positions, but congratulations to you all, as well.

This week, more rehearsal, holiday egg nog, and another New Ben Franklins gig on Friday...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Return of the Nickname

"Almost", that is. 50 players left in the JokerStars $3r, with $54k in the pool:

PokerStars Game #23081221356: Tournament #127009337, $3.00+$0.30 Hold'em No Limit - Level XXXIII (15000/30000) - 2008/12/20 1:42:24 ET
Table '127009337 104' 9-max Seat #8 is the button
Seat 1: MASTER2BC (381913 in chips)
Seat 2: SillyBilly51 (1100915 in chips)
Seat 3: king star 58 (847634 in chips)
Seat 4: NutBUSTerr (331289 in chips)
Seat 5: krock_2003 (1831210 in chips) <-- tourney chipleader directly on my right
Seat 6: Mondogarage (299799 in chips)
Seat 7: 20nCrAzY (201033 in chips)
Seat 8: Bart333 (629527 in chips)
Seat 9: rbeaz68 (778688 in chips)
MASTER2BC: posts the ante 3750
SillyBilly51: posts the ante 3750
king star 58: posts the ante 3750
NutBUSTerr: posts the ante 3750
krock_2003: posts the ante 3750
Mondogarage: posts the ante 3750
20nCrAzY: posts the ante 3750
Bart333: posts the ante 3750
rbeaz68: posts the ante 3750
rbeaz68: posts small blind 15000
MASTER2BC: posts big blind 30000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Mondogarage [Kh Ac] <--- okay, this can work
SillyBilly51: folds
king star 58: folds
NutBUSTerr: folds
krock_2003: raises 30000 to 60000 <-- min-raise? he's been calling light for a couple orbits and catching from behind
Mondogarage: raises 236049 to 296049 and is all-in <--- not folding AK in this spot

20nCrAzY: folds
Bart333: folds
rbeaz68: folds
MASTER2BC: folds
krock_2003: calls 236049
*** FLOP *** [9h 8d Ad]
*** TURN *** [9h 8d Ad] [Qd]
*** RIVER *** [9h 8d Ad Qd] [Th]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
krock_2003: shows [9s Ah] (two pair, Aces and Nines)
Mondogarage: shows [Kh Ac] (a pair of Aces)
krock_2003 collected 670848 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 670848 | Rake 0
Board [9h 8d Ad Qd Th]
Seat 1: MASTER2BC (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 2: SillyBilly51 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: king star 58 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: NutBUSTerr folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: krock_2003 showed [9s Ah] and won (670848) with two pair, Aces and Nines
Seat 6: Mondogarage showed [Kh Ac] and lost with a pair of Aces
Seat 7: 20nCrAzY folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: Bart333 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: rbeaz68 (small blind) folded before Flop

And yes, he got the tourney lead by calling from way behind a handful of times. So instead of a shot at $7k, I'm again left with a piddling $90. Oh well. I can't complain about my play. I was as high as 500k chips, but I had to make a tough laydown a few hands before with AQo when BB who called my pf raise bet 150k into a K-high flushing board.

But really, you're the tourney chipleader, and you can't lay down A9o to a 3-bet shove from a mid-sized stack player who hasn't shown down trash? When you're only in the hand for 2 BB?

Like I told him in chat, once he turned over, I was thrilled with the call, but really, any kind of half assed player would have laid that down, and I'd have been equally happy with taking it down preflop. It's just too bad that bad play is so well rewarded so often, and I'm busted nearly six hours into a tournament, after 310 hands, but such a bad call.

LOL, in the time it's taken me to write this post, he's dropped from 1st to 7th, and is now looking to not even make the final table. Oh well. I did have to make two big suckouts in hour #5 just to still be in it, so I'm not really pissed off, just frustrated that once again, my permanent nickname seems to fit.

Anyway, finished 50th out of 4500 players, and had two other min-cashes tonight. Unfortunately, this one was truly a missed opportunity, as I was as high as 14th with about 60 remaining.

I had two other min-cashes on the evening, but this one hurt, given the beating my bankroll's taken lately. This was my best chance thus far to get it all back, and then some.

Nevertheless it felt good to play again, especially as I probably won't be hitting the online poker tables again for another week or so, at least, given two gig in a week and Xmas.

Have a great weekend.

I Blame Astin and Alan

Because I wasn't going to do this until they showed up in my reader back to back.

The City That Best Fits You Is Las Vegas

70% Las Vegas

60% Austin

60% Denver

55% Atlanta

55% Chicago

The irony is, I live just outside of Denver presently, and grew up in Austin. I'm not really sure how Lost Wages made it to the top of the list, since poker wasn't part of the survey, but whatev, I've always though Denver and Austin both really fit. So maybe these cheese net surveys aren't always so mindless?

It Must Be the Season

Work is slow(ish).

My blog reader is showing much less new posts, outside of the gaggle of trip reports from the winter blogger gathering, and some Fcknsrs hilarity. Less activity on the few messageboards I read. People are clearly bailing for holiday fun.

Yet I'm still in the office.

I've had to miss every event in the JokerStars World Championships of Poker Bloggers, but no complaints. I haven't played a hand of online poker in ten days. Even if I did, and even if I got a freeroll into Sunday's final (which, ironically, I would be at home and available for), I'm not sure I could beat this guy in anything, however.

Chad's been completely unstoppable, and congratulations are in order. Yes, he is in fact the same guy who was willing to gift me all of his chips a few short weeks ago by calling off all his above-average stack chips with middle pair no kicker to a preflop raiser, only to hit the miracle river. Still, he's on a sick sick run these days, which goes to show that a little bit of talent, a willingness to get your chips in behind, and a fat rungood streak can build anyone's bankroll. Seriously, he's won about $35k in MTT prizes in just the last couple of weeks, and not a one time hit -- something like 6-7 takedowns at $5-6k a pop.

But my Christmas shopping is now complete, except for some more goodies for the Good Doctor Mondo. So today would be a real good day to bail early and do the last of the shopping, as she's attending two graduation ceremonies up north. Therefore, I can shop and wrap with impunity. I've got a pretty good idea what I'm picking up, though, and if I'm efficient enough about it, maybe I can actually squeeze in a few hands of 25NL or something.

Weekend looks full. Tomorrow we're spending four hours volunteering at a Toys For Tots event, and immediately after that, I've got to bust ass home and load up for this:

Yup, our debut at one of Denver's neatest tucked away drunkard establishments.

Of course, the tricky weather follows. After a mild start, the one night I'm DJing at the Larimer Lounge, it's 10 below. Today, it's about 30 degrees but fabulous. Tomorrow night? Wind chills of 15 below. Gigs that get booked weeks and months in advance seem to end up on the worst weather days of those weeks and months.

I do have a minor pet peeve, however. There is NO "the" in our name.

If you're in Denco, come on out tomorrow night and show us your awesomeness. And even if you're not, make your weekend complete and support live local music, where your local may be.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Playlist from New Music Mondays

Well shoot, I didn't exactly keep a record of everything I managed to play during last night's festivities, but this should just about cover most of it...

The band name is first, followed by the song, the album it came from (in italics), and the band's origin. Most of these bands, even if unfamiliar, are pretty readily found over teh internets. I'm not fancy enough to post mp3s on my blog (unless I have a direct link to it), because I suck at fanciful blogging and have no web storage. But if anything jumps out at you, let me know, and I can pass along more about any given band.

The Woggles
- Flash Flood - The Zontar Sessions (Atlanta)
Freddy & the Fourgone Conclusions - Come On Over to My Side - Wigged Out Sounds (Michigan)
We the People - My Brother, the Man - Mirror of Our Minds (Orlando)
The Barracudas - This Ain't My Time - Drop Out With the Barracudas (England, I think)
Men From S.P.E.C.T.R.E. - Astrokorper - The Living Eye (Switzerland)
The Pebbles - Square Box - Pink Pistachio Candy (Japan)
The 14th Wray - Your Face Is In My Mind - Time Machine: The History of Canadian 60s Garage Punk & Surf (Canada)
The Pleasure Seekers - What A Way to Die - Hang It Out to Dry! (no bloody idea)
Manual Scan - Nothing You Can Do - All Night Stand (San Diego)
The Woggles - The World Is Falling - Rock and Roll Backlash (Atlanta)
The Penetrators - Guns Don't Argue - For A Few Guitars More (Atlanta)
Sincron - Pe Linga Plopii Fara Sot - Planetary Pebbles, Vol 1 (CzechosloTvakia, I think)
The Waistcoats - I'll Come Back - All the Rage (The Netherlands)
The Black Watch - Left Behind - Teenage Shutdown: Get A Move On! (Iowa)
The Embrooks - Standing Upside Down - Our New Day (England)
Jacques Dutronc - Le Responsable - Completement Dutronc (France)
The Sound Barrier - Hey Hey - Teenage Shutdown: The World Ain't Round, It's Square (no idea)
Monks - Shut Up - Black Monk Time (Germany by way of U.S. Army)
Graham Day & the Gaolers - Get Off My Track - Soundtrack to the Daily Grind (Medway)
The Omega Men - Beat Girl - The Spy-Fi Sounds Of... (Lancaster, PA)
John Barry Orchestra - Beat Girl - EMI Years: 1957-1960 (England)
The Florenteens - Bad Days Good - Like You Mean It (Washington, DC)
Tiger! Tiger! - Jealous Lovers - Collisions (Atlanta)
The Bristols - He'll Never Come Back - Introducing...the Bristols (England)
The Bruthers - Bad Way to Go - Bad Way to Go (no idea)
The Woggles - Jezebel - Live! at the Star Bar (Atlanta)

A few notes and observations, appropo of nothing in particular...

Yeah, I played a lot of Woggles, but for different reasons. Flash Flood is essentially a short badass fast insto, and it made sense to kick off the night in that fashion. The World Is Falling is a cover of a really cool 60s German garage rock song, and I unfortunately don't have a copy of the original. Jezebel...well, I just threw that in at the end of the night, and it was going to be either their version, or The Mummies', or The Hate Bombs', and I just think The Woggles version is the best sounding. Basically, I wanted to play the song, more than I wanted to worry about who played it.

As for The Florenteens, well, that's actually a former indiepop band of mine. I intended not to play any music from any of my bands, but a few of us were chatting up stuff about what we're doing with our current bands, and New Ben Franklins is actually playing a Florenteens song in their set list, so I played it to demo it. So sue me. If'n yer curious, the link is to a decent bandwidth version of that particular tune.

Yes, both versions of "Beat Girl" are actually the same song. John Barry wrote it for a truly cheesy UK B-movie from 1960 starring Christopher Lee, Oliver Reed, Adam Faith, and Margot Bryant ("Hop-Head UK School Girls Get In Trouble!"), and The Omega Men really spy-fi'd it up with some killer Hammond B3 - the contrast was fun.

For those bands whose location is listed as "no idea", if I got off my lazy ass long enough to pull out the CDs, I can figure it out if you're interested, as well as the years of most of the songs. But given most of the miniscule readership is more interested in online poker than in obscure garage rock, I don't imagine the effort would be necessary.

Anyway, the night was a total blast on all accounts, thanks again to all who spun, and to the Larimer Lounge and DJ HOT TO DEATH for hosting. Hope to do it again soon!

Pimping a SRSLY FKIN Good Blog

Truly, a srsly fkin entertaining blog. Fcknsrsly, that is.

Noted Denver DJ Tyler "Danger" Jacobson (like Dangermouse, but without all those nasty rodent qualities) popped by the New Music Mondays guest DJ night at the Larimer Lounge, and we got to talking a bit poker and blogs and such...and thanks to him, I'm finally clued in about the blog he writes with Jake Ryan, fcknsrsly.com, and I can't recommend it enough. Very entertaining, my friend.

And hey, he even donks around the online poker a bit, even if it's play chips and even if he doesn't blog it.

I'm pretty sure some of you won't agree with his politics, but srsly, fcknsrsly is a lot more broad-based than that. Don't let your inner Hannity keep you from a good laugh or three. A blogalition of the willing, so to speak.

Now if the rest of us can just clue him in on what makes a particular $5 remix single a good value or not before he wastes the sheckels, that'll be another story. ZING!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mosey-in' Right Along

Congratulations to $mokkee and PokerPeaker, two of my favorite donkards poker bloggers for their final table cash finishes in yesterdays WPBT official blogger tournament at the Venetian. I really wish I could have been there with you. I don't know yet where Peaker finished, but that's a pretty tough group to wade through.

Very little action here...we had the office party last night which was actually a lot of fun, and probably the most I'd ever had at that event. As bummed as I've been to miss the Vega$ gathering, last night was a blast, and the Good Doctor Mondo enjoyed it very much, as well.

Today, shoveling snow, and another party. I need my rest -- DJing tomorrow night, two rehearsals, and a gig on Saturday. I do not expect to be playing any online poker this week. I simply won't have the time. But I share with you this lil' treat, the ultimate redneck Christmas tree:

Some call it a redneck tree. Me? I think it's what we may find in the most breakeven living room.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quick Plug

From online edition of Westword:

Club scout: Monolith Festival co-founder Matt Fecher recently kicked off New Music Mondays at Larimer Lounge (2721 Larimer Street), which he hosts as DJ Hot to Death. The night, which runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. (with no cover) features two guest DJs each week, and music fans can bring vinyl or iPods and share a few of their favorite cuts. On December 15, Kurt Ottaway of the Overcasters and Mondogarage will be Fecher's guests; the following Monday, he'll bring in Chris Martucci of Laylights and Miles & Baumer.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I Remember Why I Hate Phones

I sometimes have to talk on them. And sometimes get distracted. Bodonkey took me from the penthouse to the poorhouse. I managed to spend a lot of time the first hour plus near the chiplead, and even managed to CrushICrushBloggers in a particular hand where aggression won the day (details slip me, but unless he bet superlight, he was probably ahead, as I definitely whiffed).

Anyway, my bandmate called, and we had to deal with some shit re upcoming shows, and in the span of two hands, I pretty much misplayed away my entire stack. Fuck me. I think in the end I 3-bet all in all my chips with AQ (A on board) to an obvious AK. I think. The other hand was pretty bad, too. And I was probably 3rd-6th in chips at the time.

But it was only $10. Of course, I pretty much played like shit the whole night in my other tourneys, managing only a mincash in a PL Omaha 8 tourney. However, there was one fun hand in a different tourney best described via photos:


Thanks for playing, time for paying!


The best part is (and no pic), the ace of spades came on the turn. So in the end, I needed every last bit of those flopped quads, just to survive the hand.

Needless to say, I didn't even cash in this one, either...

I don't think I played horribly, but definitely see a few spots where I played less than optimally. I was not the recipient of any truly vile suckouts, and in fact, made a couple of very good laydowns when I did get rundown (showdowns in those hands verified my reads). I like to think had I just ignored the fucking phone tonight, I might have run a lot deeper in the Bodonkey, but such is life. Seriously, my focus is a lot more towards New Ben Franklins at the moment, so whatev.

Leave It To An Illinois Dem...

...to fuck up so much of the goodwill created by Barack Obama's win in the 2008 presidential campaign.

Rod ("I've got nothing but sunshine hanging over me!") Blagojevich, I hope you get a cell right next to Dealin' Dan Rostenkowski and George Ryan, you corrupt fuck.

It's telling that your own party was considering trying to impeach your self-serving ass in the legislature, no?

Shame, shame, shame. Nothing more than a common run of the mill shakedown artist, and perpetrator of (according to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald), "the most staggering crime spree in office I have ever seen". In fact, Fitzgerald essentially said he didn't really want to arrest this scum yet (investigation was ongoing), but felt the need to, in order to put an end to the ongoing crime wave.

Wow. No worries, Roddy, in about a year, you're going to be some bad man's boyfriend behind bars. He'll protect you.

Tonight, it's not a Bodonkey...

It's a Bodwarfy, as the world's finest pocket sized poker blogger steps up to the plate to be one of TWO bounties up for grabs this week in the Bodog Poker Blogger Tourney Series!

Do you have what it takes to knock out a poker blogger legacy?

On Tuesday December 9th, there will be a T$109 bounty on the head of Iggy, The Blogfather of Poker, and on Thursday December 11th, there will also be a T$109 bounty on the head of Smokkee, the Bodog blogger tournament series host and the ONLY poker blogger to successfully seize his own bounty! Start time 9:05 PM ET.

Both T$109 bounties are to play in Bodog's $100,000 Guaranteed Poker Tournament that occurs each Sunday at 4pm. With one of the biggest overlays in the industry, the value of this tournament is literally unbeatable. Whatever your skill set as a poker player, it's a perfect chance to win a fat cash payout.

Tournament news, recaps and details are available at the official tournament series site at bodogbloggertournament.com

You don't want to miss these tournaments! Download Bodog poker and register for this series today!

May the luckiest poker bloggers take the T$109 bounties!

I'll be part of the fray tonight, provided I get home on time, or before some fish-who-thinks-they're-a-playa decides to stack off with 22 on the very first hand. It should be close, but unlike last week, I should actually make it on time. So please to be coming by to get my dead money.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Leave No Presidential Library Behind

(NOTE: I have no idea the original source of this...)

Dear Fellow Constituent,

The George W Bush Presidential Library is now in the planning stages and accepting donations. The Library will include:

The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.

The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you won't be able to remember anything.

The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don't even have to show up.

The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don't let you in.

The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don't let you out.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room, which no one has been able to find.

The National Debt Room, which is huge and has no ceiling.

The Tax Cut Room, with entry only to the wealthy.

The Economy Room, which is in the toilet.

The Iraq War Room. (After you complete your first visit, they make you to go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth visit.)

The Dick Cheney Room, in the famous undisclosed location, complete with shotgun gallery.

The Environmental Conservation Room, still empty.

The Supreme Court Gift Shop, where you can buy an election.

The Airport Men's Room, where you can meet some of your favorite Republican Senators.

The Decider Room, complete with dart board, magic 8-ball, Ouija board, dice, coins, and straws.

Note: The library will feature an electron microscope to help you locate and view the President's accomplishments.

The library will also include many famous Quotes by George W. Bush:

'The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.'

'If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.'

'Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.'

'No senior citizen should ever have to choose between prescription drugs and medicine.'

'I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.'

'One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is 'to be prepared'.'

'Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.'

'I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.'

'The future will be better tomorrow.'

'We're going to have the best educated American people in the world.'

'One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.' (during an education photo-op)

'Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.'

'We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.'

'It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.'

'I stand by all the misstatements that I've made.'
...George W. Bush to Sam Donaldson



Jack Abramoff
Co-Chair G.W. Bush Library Board of Director

Getting Older is Great!

entirely non-poker content

The past couple of days made for a very enjoyable birthday weekend, and one that included zero poker whatsoever, whether online poker or live.

Seeing The Christines one off reunion (at least until the next) was a real treat. I wasn't around back in the day, but these dudes were legends, especially if you liked bands such as The House of Love (the Butterfly album, anyway) or The Ocean Blue, or even Echo & the Bunnymen, which I always did. Anyway, I'm glad I was able to catch the show -- it did feel nearly like AARP night at the hi-dive, given how many of the old early 90s scene kids came out to the show. By the way, the new CD came out really swell, guys.

Perhaps even better was seeing the balls-out return of Lion Sized on Friday night, also at the hi-dive. Seeing Mssrs. Bergstrand and Burleson, along with new bassist Shane, completely kick ass and slay in their sorta old school post rock punk way (a bit Dischord-y, almost?) was long overdue. Great show guys, and props also out to Eyes & Ears. I very much enjoyed your raw and raggedy rock show, and I see why #3's been such a big fan -- I look forward to your 12/21 show with the Fire Drills and others.

Anyway, my birthday was an exhausting day, as after The Christines show, I ended up watching Kill Bill v2 until 4:30am, and barely functioned for our Sunday brunch at Toast. But what a bruch -- the Westword awards for 2007 Best Breakfast and 2008 Best Pancakes are well-deserved. Littleton's a long-ass way away from my house, but if we're ever in the area, we'll definitely be back.

Oh yeah, my darling Good Doctor Mondo knows me so well. The signed Dexter Fowler ball is mcawesome. I know my two or three readers don't know him, but to my Colorado Rockies, he is simply...the future.

To The Real Franco, thanks for the Bluetooth, I'll be setting it up this week! I know, I'm long overdue to use one in the car...

Oh yeah, I almost forgot - we're playing a show:

Hopefully, tomorrow evening will include some friendly online donking around, we'll see.

"drinkin' from a pony keg, and also drinkin' sparks" - Magic Cyclops

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Early Winter Bird Catches the Gridlock

Okay, maybe "tilt" is a bit strong, but not really. Just a mini-rant.

I live in Colorado. It snows here every year. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes less so. But it snows here. Every year.

So why is it that every year, at the sign of the first halfway-sorta-significant snowfall, people who have lived here for decades all of a sudden forget the same lessons they presumably relearn every damn year?

Why must your inability to keep four tires on pavement even at 30 mph on an interstate turn my 40 minute commute into a 2 hour 10 minute journey into Hades? Even leaving for work a half hour early (I mean, we were only getting 2-4"), I show up an hour late and have to burn vacation time because you talentless wonders can't drive in a straight line.

And to that especially smarmy looking preppy-dressed movie-star-lookin' shitbird who decided to run out of gas in your Jeep-that's-never-seen-offroad while stradding BOTH southbound lanes of the congestion-relieving side street, thus blocking traffic for 1.5 miles until someone can fetch you a plastic jug of go go juice -- next stop loserville, population you.

This doesn't even account for the trucks that went off the road right in front of me (or a couple hundred feet in front oe me). One of the two trucks I saw doing 360s and flying off I-25 into the median barrier was clearly a 4WD vehicle. The other one may have been, but I can't be sure. These guys weren't even the ones holding up traffic -- and fortunately, the drivers both appeared unhurt, as they'd gotten out and were inspecting damage to their vehicles by the time the slow-moving traffic allowed me to roll on by.

I just don't get it. When I lived in DC, and it would occasionally go 2-3 years without even the lightest snow, and the area is so transitory to begin with, I understood that any snowfall at all would paralyze the roads. That's just part of the deal about living there. But this is Colorado, dammit. You're going to get to drive on snow at least a couple dozen times this year, most likely.

It's like getting caught from behind limping AA in the big blind, only to play the hand the same way the next thirty times you see it.

Anyway, have a great weekend on the felt and off, and try not to do this:

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dead Money, But It's Free Dead Money

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This PokerStars tournament is a No Limit Texas Hold’em event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 280409

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Back to the Felt, Back to the Grind

Okay, so I'm back. Back to my old beats, back to my old "almosts"...just...back.

After starting my Tuesday night getting horribly taken out of two tourneys on the very first hand (and yes, I recognize I could have gotten away from both hands with about 30% of my stack left...), I was prepared for a horrible night.

Well, it wasn't horrible. But it wasn't great. At least one minor bit of coolness took place (tempered by...yes...more beats).

As it turned out, I got home and booted up just too late for the Bodonkey, missing entry by about three minutes. (Note to Bodog, allowing late registration a la JokerStars and FTP would be a good idea.)

I played my first ever Badugi tournament, on JokerStars. It wasn't a big deal, only $2.20, to donk it up with 96 others in a pot limit Badugi event. Yet with 20 players left (16 paid), there I sat as chipleader. I wasn't thinking money, because even first place only paid soemthing like $48, but at this point, I really wanted to take this thing down. Alas, I wouldn't even see the final table. Yup, bubbled the final table. Just like everything else. This time, in the span of one orbit, three times I had made 4 card badugis of varying worth (8-high or 9-high) go down to the very same player who each time drew out on the thired draw and caught a 4 card badugi one card (or two) lower than mine. Three third draw suckouts in one orbit by the same guy. So I took my $4.96 and said "fuck it".

Oh yeah, I also went out of a tourney rather late (but not bubble late) when I flopped a set of Kings on a KT9 board, where some asshat calls off all his chips with AJ who hits the miracle 7 turn and 8 river to send me out. I should be steaming by now, but I'm not.

Finally, I stagger my way into the money in a Bodog $10+1 turbo MTT, mostly by thieving enough, and open shoving any late position ace in a 6-handed spot, to make the average cat burglar jealous. Still, one the actual bubble, I made a marginal fold that probably cost me tons -- let me know what you think.

Six handed, and I've got AQ soooted in the big blind. I'm around 18k in chips (below average, but probably around 12th-13th of remaining players), and blinds are 1500/3000, so I'm already in for 18% of my chips. UTG shoves. He's been capable of shoving a fairly wide range over the last few orbits, and I think I'm at worst in a race. But the button calls (both have me covered, though not by much). On the very bubble, on a night when I've been used and abused by the RNG once again, do I really want to call off all my chips with AQs? If I survive, I'm top two or three in chips, and primed for a deep run at the near $600 first prize. But if I lose, I get squat. I make the crying fold, thinking that I need some kind of cash just to boost my confidence.

As I suspected, the UTG player didn't really have much at all ATo, and I had him dominated. But I was entirely bummed to see the caller call with QTs. Wow, what a terrible call in that spot. But even worse, I had both players truely dominated, with only two tens left in the deck. I was ready to call the UTG player, but really expected the button to have more of a hand, at least AKo if not a decent pair. The eventual ace on the board sealed it. So I blew a chance to have a strong stack late. Still, I'm not entirely sure my fold was the wrong play -- I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Anyway, I made the cash, and even managed to limp into the final table, again mostly through stealing, as I was really card dead the rest of the way. Of course, as is typical for me, I went out 9th, when I had less than one BB in the BB with QT. I just couldn't call off my chips the last three hands with no card higher than a 9. Maybe I should have played my 74 soooted, but I had zero fold equity the entire short time at the final table.

But here's the best illustration of my luck. Two hands before my departure, two other short stacks (bigger than mine) are both all in, with a big stack caller. I don't recall the exact cards, but as of the turn, the big stack was well in the lead. If he survives, I move up two spots and more than double my payout, just by not being foolish. Of course, a two outer K comes on the river (both shorties had a K) and gave the two short stacks a chop of the pot. Instead of two players going out, they both survive, and I'm out two hands later.

Still, the most important part is I was in a good mood with the Good Doctor Mondo came home, and despite another good old fashioned deep dickin' by the RNGs without benefit of a reacharound, my emotional state was pretty much unfazed.

So I guess I'm back to online poker. That is, at least until my bankroll eventually dies out from all the beatings...at this point, I'm pretty certain I won't ever reload of my own volition. Not with real poker coming to Blackhawk/Central City over the next few months, where I don't have to fuck around with the dodgy not-so-RNGs that seem to take pleasure in seeking me out for excess punishment. I've got a wee bit of roll left, though...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sometimes, You Just Gotta Laugh

My very first two hands back online:

1. Bodog $10+1 $5k. Run a rivered broadway into flopped quads (I had combo flush/straight draws)

2. JokerStars $11 $5k. Run JJ into AA on T-high flop. I check raised, and called his overshove. Probably a bad play.

First hand in both tourneys. Not first hand played...first hand dealt.

Some things never change. In the meantime, I'm wrapping Kevlar around my mouse.

Quickie Pimpy Tuesday

First off, to all you sharks (or rather, donkeys with a dorsal fin), I'm leaning towards stepping my toe back into the online sea tonight. My money is still good, obviously. I'm in a really good headspace right now, and feel like I can play a couple of tournaments without worrying about the results. So depending on how I feel after work, you may see me on the felt...

That said,

Just a quick pimp of $mokkee's contined Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series:

Join poker bloggers from around the globe to play in the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series this Tuesday December 2nd and Thursday December 4th at 9:05 PM ET.

This tournament series is comprised of 15 qualifying tournaments that run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings with the final qualifier taking place on Tuesday, December 16th, 2008. At the completion of these 15 qualifying tournaments, the total points of each player will determine who will move on to the Final Tournament of Champions (TOC). Players within the top 15% of all participants on the tournament leaderboard will then receive an invitation via email to participate in the TOC on December 18th, 2008.

There is also a Last Chance Tournament to make it into the final TOC for those players that join the series late or can't make it to play all the qualifier tournaments! All that is required to play in the Last Chance tournament is that you play in 3 or more qualifying tournaments. Those players will receive an invitation to play in the Last Chance Tournament on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 and the top 3 finishers of this tournament will win a seat to play in the final TOC!

Qualifying Tournaments Prizes

Buy-in: $10 + $1
Prize Pool is distributed as per Bodog's standard multi-table payout table.
1st place: T$109 + $25 Casino Credit ($100K Guaranteed Buy-in)
2nd place: T$75
3rd place: T$50
3 bubble players: T$11 (entry refunded)

TOC Final Tournament Prizes

Entry: Free for the Top 15% on the TLB and the top 3 Last Chance Tournament finishers.
Grand Prize: T$2,000 + $100 casino credit
2nd place: T$500
3rd place: T$250
4th place: T$100
5th place: T$50
Note: You must have a poker blog to play in the TOC

Tournament recaps and details are available at the official tournament series site at http://www.bodogbloggertournament.com

The blogger series leaderboard is available at http://www.bodoglife.com/promotions/poker/blogger-tournament/leader-board.jsp

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for this series at http://www.bodoglife.com/promotions/poker/blogger-tournament/

I'm actually leaning against playing it myself tonight, even if I end up playing online poker tonight. Why? Because I think I'd rather play against the devil I don't know tonight, than the dorsal finned donkeys I do know, at least for now. But what do I know -- you'll actually probably see me there if I get home from work on time. Otherwise, I'm only planning on playing a couple of minor events, maybe a couple $4/180s and a triple shootout.

North Carolina was a lot of fun, but I don't really have pics. Ate wayyyy too much. My brother-in-law is an amazing chef, and lamb stew is the shiznitz. But it's good to ease back in to work this week at a management pace.

One more plug of sorts -- a former bandmate of mine back in my DC days (and a truly fun and cool person I will always consider a friend), has recently started a blog that is essentially all about food - Finding the Fat. And no, it's most certainly not about going on a diet, or looking for the low-cal. Quite the opposite, I think I gained a 1/4 pound just catching up on his old entries. It's a good read, and some of you may even dig the recipes that show up there.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pre-Holiday Catch Up

Been sick with a nasty cold for the last few days, but thanks to the Good Doctor Mondo, I'm feeling very well taken care of. I haven't been so sick that I couldn't make it out to see the amazing Dead Confederate on Saturday night, along with pieces of Apollo Sunshine, and great local bands Hawks of Paradise and The Knew. Oh yeah, also popped in for Jason Cain's solo EP release -- very good stuff!

Despite spending most of the weekend sick in bed, however, my online poker hiatus continues. However, I was fortunate to have been sought out to check out an upcoming poker training site (which for now shall remain nameless), and all I can say is, two thumbs up on the site, one way up. It has one rather revolutionary feature in particular, that really gets me energized to use. I look forward to seeing this site go live, at which time I'm sure I'll appropriately pimp it up here on the blog.

The more I step back from the game, the more I feel I'm ready to ease back in, so don't be surprised if you see me in the Bodonkey next Tuesday the 2nd. That will make three weeks off entirely, and I'm in a really good space right now.

But something else may keep me away, as I've just confirmed the first New Ben Franklins gig in our current lineup. The show's not until December 26th, at Denver's glorious Larimer Lounge. But we have a lot of work to do, and we're readying to start recording an EP, hopefully for late winter/early spring release. So things are busy on the band front. Still, if a certain former member of one of my favorite Denver bands needs a 4-stringer for his solo project, I hope he knows to reach out.

Oh yeah, I'll also be DJing at the Larimer on December 15th. I'll try to remember to post the set list here. I'm doing two 30-minute sets of old school garage rock, and one set of spy-fi instrumentals. Kurt Ottaway of the most excellent Overcasters is rotating sets with me that night, and I think he's doing garage rock, as well.

Well, that's pretty much a catch all. The Good Doctor Mondo and I head out for North Cackalacky on Turkey Day, to spend a few days with her family. (And hell no, I'm not taking my laptop.) So I wish you all a great Thanksgiving holiday, if you're in to that sort of thing. (I know you Canucks probably celebrate something else....)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Like Governors to the Slaughter

"This was neat. I was happy to get invited to participate in this. For one, you need a little bit of levity in this job." - Sarah Palin, explaining why she thought it was a good idea to agree to be interviewed in front of a turkey slaughter taking place on camera directly behind her, complete with mechanized bird decapitations.

One gets the feeling she would have liked to have been the Abu Ghraib naked prisoner pyramid cover girl.

Oh, if there is a god, please to be ensuring Sarah Palin runs for president in 2012, after spending the next few years watching over Russia from her front porch.

Minor Bit of Random Coolness

Yesterday, the Denver Business Journal named my employer the Best Place to Work in Denver.

It was our first year in the "large business" category, but the last two years saw us rate 2nd and 3rd in the "medium business" category.

There's a longer article in the paper version, but whatev. I will say it's a pretty damn decent place to come to work at, as far as law firms go. At any rate, I like the attorneys I work for, and I like winning, which is something our firm does an awful lot of. I don't think they'd go as far as being cool with loading JokerStars on to the network, however...

We finished above Microsoft, but hell, being a shit scraper working the walls of the 15th Street Tavern probably wouldn't fall too far short of that.

Three Weeks Until the Winter Gathering

...of donkeys extremely talented and witty online poker bloggers.

Just about the last time to get the great air bargains, maybe, so hop to it.

That's what I told myself before checking the dates. Sadly, I will not be there (once again, as I've never made a winter event).

The culprit? The date.

You see, the Good Doctor Mondo and I tend to live rather low-key casual lives. You know, jeans and sweats outside the office, bare bones scruffy (one of us, anyway). That is, except for one night a year, the night of my firm's annual Holiday Party. It's the one night a year when wifey very much looks forward to going full on to the nines, and party it down high-stylee at the Cherry Hills Country Club (home to several U.S. Opens over the years, most recently the 2005 U.S. Women's Open).

To me, it's just a shindig. To her, it's a chance to get all fancy watusi, and it really means a lot to me to see her enjoy the experience so much. In fact, this year, we're getting a hotel and staying down there for the night.

The downside? It's December 13th, right smack dab in the midst of the Gathering of the Bloggers. Quelle bummer. The weekend before is my birthday giving me pretty much carte blanche. As I recall, last year, both events were a week earlier than this year, and I still got hosed by the calender, but such is life.

I was really looking forward to the idea of taking live chips from live bloggers, especially as Falstaff has put together a SWEET tournament deal with the folks over at the Venetian:

Private Blogger Tournament
Venetian Poker Room
Saturday, December 13th
$135 ($100 buy-in, $25 juice, $10 toke)

Please email Falstaff your real name and blogger name if you want in. I need to let Tim at the Venetian know by a week beforehand. If you have FOBs (friends of bloggers) who want in, let me know how many.

You have to have a Venetian Player's Card to play, so if you don't have one, get there early.

Bring knockout bounties, that's the coolest part of a blogger gathering.

Perhaps next summer, the more unofficial gathering won't be spread out over two weeks, like it was this year, and I'll get to see more of you than I did this past June. I'll miss the fun, but will thoroughly enjoy the huge smile on the Good Doctor Mondo's face on the 13th, which makes so much so worthwhile.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Return to Bar Poker, and a Waffle-Bounty

Since I'm sitting out the online poker game for several weeks, I went back and played the bar poker game at the Bit on Tuesday, for the first time in five or six months. Mostly, I went because my favorite dealer was bugging me to, and partially just to catch up with some old donkeys friends.

It was almost as if no time had passed at all, given how the very same uberfish were making the very same plays with the very same cards. My run in the main game was cripped early, when I made obnoxiously stupid turn and river calls with trip AAA (AK pf) when I correctly read my opponent to have hit his boat. From my 3k starting stack down to 175 chips, I worked my way back to nearly 1800, when I picked up AJ sooted UTG. I made the standard "get no respect at all" raise to 3.5x the BB, and the abject fish who just sat down shoved her 2k stack. I quickly made the call, and was in a race with 88. I'm not sure her play was horrible for bar poker, but with no read on me, and to my early position aggression, and not being particularly short (and having only sat down in the game 3-4 hands previous), I'm not sure any reasonable player shoves that hand in that spot. Anyway, I lost the race, but no biggie, as I'm not invested in playing at the Bit these days.

I ended up making 3rd place in the consolation tournament by virtue of winning only a single pot that quadrupled me. But everyone fell out left and right, two and three at a time. So I've got points for their final in another few months -- which will likely be the next time I go back.

For the second time in two weeks, the Bodonkey folks are jumping the gun on announcing bounty events. Nevertheless, the Waffles-bounty is in fact on the table for tonight. I won't be there, but don't let that stop you. Even with me out, there's plenty of dead money out there -- we'll start with Chad's (to whom I can't link because he deleted his blog yet again...)

T$109 Bounty on Wawfuls Tonight @ 9:05pm ET

9:05pm ET: Bodonkey II
Buy-in: $10 + $1
2500 Starting Chips / 15 min blind levels
Prize Pool will be distributed as per Bodog's standard multi-table payout table.

1st place: T$109 ($100K Buy-in) + $25 Casino Credit
2nd place: T$75
3rd place: T$50
3 bubble players: T$11 (entry refunded)

More posting to come...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Marrying Well

Marrying smart, at least.

The Good Doctor Mondo is now the Most Excellent Doctor Mondo, for just yesterday, she won won the College of Applied Human Sciences Tenure-Track Teaching Excellence Award for 2008 at her particular Rocky Mountain land grant university employer.

This means two things. One, a really bright shiny plaque to go up on one's "I love me" wall (no, she doesn't call it that, but back in the USAF days, we all had one...). Second, and more important, it's about as close as you can get to being told you're getting tenure. It is unheard of for someone getting this award two years before going up for tenure, to not actually get tenure once you go up. So yeah, while she's gotta keep plugging away, I can't think of a better endorsement for her future in academia. She's smart like that, and I am incredibly proud of her.

Of course, only one of us married smart, and it wasn't her.

Bar poker tonight. A piece of me wishes I was going after the Waffle-bounty tonight, but I'm still sitting out the online poker game, certaintly through November, if not through '08.

But really, nailing the Wafflestack is like taking money from tourists at the MGM, it's that easy, so you should be there, even if I'm not. Read about it here, and sign up!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Everybody Likes a Big Muff

Waffles and Al, get your minds out of the gutter -- I'm talking about my new toy:

The Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi. Designed specifically for the bottom end, yeah. Thick thick fuzz, true bypass, and enough sustain to pluck a low E and leave it until you're feeling the brown notes.

Cost me less than I ususally donk off in buy-ins on a Tuesday, and since I'm on hiatus, I figured a new toy was in order. I've been using a Big Muff for years, but it wasn't for the bass, and was sucking out enough bottom end for me to think that pedal was a river two-outer. Besides, there's enough demand for Big Muffs that I should be able to recover 2/3 of the cost by selling my old muff. Read into that what you will, heh.

Anyway, this is one badass pedal, especially when added behind the overdrive I'm already using.

No live poker action this past weekend, and I haven't played a hand since Tuesday since I began my online poker hiatus. A piece of me is thinking about having my hiatus just go through the month. But that's only because I haven't yet filled up my dance card with other stuff. I'm pretty damn sure I won't be playing online till '09. So far, I'm using some of the down time playing more bass, and working New Ben Franklins toward playing shows as of January. But in the meantime, I'm actually planning on a couple hours of bar poker at the Bit tomorrow, just for old times' sake.

For those of you at the tables, may all your stacks and pots be huge.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bofixin' the Calendar

Okay, so I boofed. Evelyn Ng wasn't a bounty in the "Send Mondo to the Rail for the Year" edition of Bodonkey on Tuesday.

But she's here tonight, and she's hot to give up her chipstack.

I won't be playing, but you should. Details of this online poker extravaganza can be found here.

As for me, I'm enjoying the beginning of my self-imposed six week vacation. The real goal is to be able to actually enjoy MTT play when I return next year. Or maybe jump to SNG play and enjoy that. When I come back, I'm still sufficiently rolled for Stars $4/180 and $6/45s Put in a bit less volume on a night so that the sheer number of inevitable beats at one time overwhelm me.

I appreciate what Hoy's had to say on the subject, but people who focus on the $10 MTT nature of the events sort of miss the point. It's not the volume of $$$ nearly as much as it's been the sheer number of gross beats of 80%-90% and better hands, that drove me over the cliff, to the extent that a less logical person would ascribe the same kind of cheating tendencies to every online site that those shitbirds over at UB/AP were guilty of.

But I digress. Last night was good to just get out and rehearse, and not even give one thought to online poker. Still, I'm hoping to make at least one more Blackhawk run before the end of the month...we'll see.

When I wish you good luck on the felt, all I really wish is that you don't have my luck. So good luck.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Taking A Break For 2008

Yeah, after last night, I'm taking the rest of the year off from online poker. I'll be frank, I just can't take the beats any longer, particular when applied by certain players I used to think were pretty good, until they started calling off near pot size raises out of position with 76o, and then calling off most of their stack with middle pair no kicker, knowing they're going to hit their miracle river. TonySoprano knows who I'm talking about.

I've lost half my online bankroll in the last four days.

The last few days, where I've been able to put in much more volume than usual, has instead turned into my worst downswing ever. Given the buy-in levels of most events I play, it's hard to even fathom how much I've lost.

I've lost my sanity and bruised my hand, by reacting poorly.

For the most part, I can't play any better poker, and simply can no longer handle having good sized stacks stolen by people who play shitty cards out of position and put their stacks to the test with bottom or middle pair, or even worse, calling off stacks with nothing but turn gutshots -- only for the non-random number generators to fuck me every time without benefit of a reacharound.

I'm not quitting poker. I may start showing up at the Bit (at least next Tuesday), as my old dealer friend Cory's been bugging me to show up. I expect I'll still play live.

And to be honest, I've still got about 7-8x as much online now as I had at the start of the year even after pulling out about 1/2 of an amount that I have left (which may make me better than breakeven Rogues). My 80/20 hands are more like 30/70. My hands that are 95% on the turn to win, in reality, hold up no more than 60% of the time. My pocket AA are no better than a coinflip, at best. So yeah, I need a break before I find myself having to replace a laptop, or drywall, instead of just a wireless mouse.

So, no more Skillz. No more Bodonkey. No more JokerStars. Not until 2009.

Maybe I'll even find a 2nd band to join. If that happens, I'll probably just pull what remains of my roll offline, since money sitting unused is truly dead money. But no more online poker, not even freerolls because really, it's not the dollars, it's the crushing internal head injuries.

On a good note, congratulations to Waffles for taking down BOTH bloggerments last night (and yeah, a chop for 1st is still a win - don't listen to the haters!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hey Poker

Fuck you.

That is all.

Bodonkey Bounty Night

Think you have what it takes to knock out a poker superstar?

On Thursday November 13th 2008, poker sensation Evelyn Ng will compete in the Bodog Blogger Tournament Series.

There will be a bounty on her head for T$109 to play in Bodog's $100K Guaranteed Tournament occurring each Sunday at 4 PM. If Evelyn wins this tournament, the T$109 credit to play in Bodog's $100K Guaranteed Tournament will go to the poker blogger that places 1st runner up.

This blogger tournament series is open to poker bloggers worldwide and runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 9:05 PM ET.

More details are available at the official blogger series site at http://www.bodogbloggertournament.com

Learn more about professional poker player Evelyn Ng right here

Just what is Bodog's 100K Guaranteed Tournament?
With one of the biggest overlays in the industry, the value of this tournament is literally unbeatable!
Find out more about the 100K right here

Sign up for this tournament at http://www.bodoglife.com/promotions/poker/blogger-tournament/
So what are you waiting for?

Good luck and may the best poker blogger hit the bullseye on Evelyn Ng!

And that's not all! In a sorta extra special, extra bloggerment, in honor of the WSOP Final Table, Bodog will be running a special November Nine tournament:

9:09pm ET: November Nine Special on Bodog
Tournament Name: November 9 Special
Date and Time: November 11th at 9:09 PM ET
Buy-In: $9 + $0.09
Levels: 9 minutes
Starting chips: 1999
Payout: As per standard prize structure
Bonus: Final 9 wins a bonus of T$109

How can you beat that, a $100k buy-in just for being the shortie stack at final table?

(thanks and big props to bloggah bud $mokkee, and his partner in crime Nadia for putting this together)

Of course, since it's Bodog, you already know who the champion bubble boy in both events will be.

Into the Sunset

Photo by Chris Schneider © The Rocky Mountain News

Matty, we're going to miss you. But you sealed your fate when you signed on with Scott Boras. I'm not suggesting the 4-year $72 million contract extension (through 2013) you turned down last spring represented full market value. But when you sign on with Boras, you sign on to 100% hit your free agency, and not agree to any contract that buys out any free agent years prior to hitting the opon market. If you'll recall, your current deal only runs through arbitration years.

So when you picked up Boras a couple years ago, you had to know the ship was leaving the harbor, with regard to you staying with the Rockies. That's the part that makes me sad, that you pretty much decided two years ago that you would be leaving the club, even before leading us to the playoffs on your chin.

Here in Denver, most of the low-info types are having the predictable reactions on the Denver newspaper messageboards -- fire Dealin' Dan now! fire the Monforts!!!! we'll never go to another game!!!!

To you guys, I say, fine, better seats for me next year. Holliday getting traded became an eventual fait accompli two years ago, and to that end, what we got for what is essentially a one-year rental, is a pretty decent haul, with the chance to be even better. Carlos Gonzales is a stud with true All-Star potential. Above average speed, outstanding defense, and will hit for more power as he matures. He was a bit overmatched this year in his big league debut, but he was only 22. My only concern is sa lack of plate discipline, but that doesn't seem to hurt Vlad Guerrero, and I see similarities in the two players.

Huston Street? Well, we may spin him in a deal with Garret Atkins or Willie Taveras, for a real quality young pitcher (and by that, I mean a lot better than Greg Smith, the third piece in the Holliday deal). The Rockies may also keep Atkins for one more year, which would be my preference, depending on whether they make a move to sign Orlando Hudson or not. If they don't sign Hudson, I'm comfortable trying Ian Stewart at 2nd, and still leaving us with flexibility we need in the infield corners, given the inflexibility in Todd Helton's back.

As for Greg Smith, I'm not that familiar with him, except that I see he's a soft-tossing lefty who suffered the worst run support in the American League last year (contributing to his win-loss record, which is a meaningless stat in so many way), but that he walks too many hitters without striking out enough. He's probably a reasonable #4 or #5 starter, but if he can pitch to more groundballs and less walks, he may improve. He looks to be an innings-eater, but just had bone chips removed from his elbow. The Rockies have several young options for the bottom of the rotation, but they haven't proven themselves yet.

In a reasonably perfect world, we try to spin off some combination Garret Atkins and either Greg Smith or Huston Street for a better quality young starter (say, Kevin Slowey or Nick Blackburn), and then make free agent runs at Juan Cruz (as closer) and Orlando Hudson (at 2nd base). I'm also okay with plugging Street into our closer role for next year, given Brian Fuentes' imminent departure for $12m a year to the Mets.

If, in the end, it's effectively a trade of Matt Holliday and Garret Atkins, for Carlos Gonzales, Nick Blackburn, and one of Smith/Street, I'll actually be more than pleased. Ian Stewart is more than ready to take over the hot corner, and while it's unlikely to replace Holliday's production in full, Gonzales should be a big improvement over Taveras, and a combination of Ryan Spillborghs/Seth Smith will do a credible job in left -- at least until Dexter Fowler is truly ready, and Gonzales slides over to left or right field (I see Hawpe as Helton's eventual replacement at 1st base...)

I'm not going to make any excuses for the Monfort's, I think they're clearly in the bottom rung of major league owners, and I really wish they'd sell the team to someone like Mark Cuban. But I also recognize how badly they were burned by long term deals in the past for Todd Helton, Mike Hampton, and Denny Neagle. Signing a player to a 6- or 8-year guaranteed deal taking them into their late 30s is simply poor risk management. The Rockies said they would go higher on a per year basis for Holliday, but they weren't going to meet Boras' demands for a contract that runs through 2015, by which time Holliday would be two years older than Todd Helton is today.

I'm sad the parties couldn't meet in the middle, but again, Matt Holliday hoisted up that sail the day he signed on with Scott Boras.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Got Aloe?

I need something cool and smooth to relieve the pain in my junk. Yeah, my weekend of online poker was truly that bad.

I'm not feeling busto, but losing about 1/4 of your roll solely on tourney buyins, in the span of one weekend, when you're only playing because your spouse is outta town, well, that truly hurts. I thought it would have turned out better, as early on, I won a $15 satellite into the JokerStars $50+5 $70k guarantee. But that was just a cock-tease, really. (And yea, I could have un-registered and kept the fiddy-five, but As was my heads up runner up in the 2nd round of a triple shootout, where the final four players got buyins into the Sunday Million. Used up all my tokens on big Tilt donkaments, and have nothing to show for it.

Really, the entire weekend can be summed up by what took me out of my final tournament. In the Bodog $12r, which I'm into for $36, on the absolute bubble, my shove gets called out of position by someone who calls off 70% of thier chips holding A5o (I'm holding AK sooooted spades)...and after a QQT flop with two spades, giving me broadway, frush, and royal draws), the asshat catches a three-outer five on the river to send me home. That made two tournaments on Bodog in the same weekend where on the absofuckinglute bubble, my early position shove of AK soooted not only gets 3 outed on a river, but in both cases, the only caller was a) out of position on the hand, b) the person couldn't even conceive of having one over at best (we're talking calls with A5o and A3o; and c) the player calls off around 3/4 of their chipstack with such a marginal hand.

In both cases, I was UTG or 2nd to act, with stacks were below average and an M of between 3-4, so I think the shoves were okay in both circumstances. Yes, I would expect a call from anyone holding, say, AA-TT, AK-AQs, to be broad, in this spot. But given my position, and my relative table image, seriously, how does anyone call off that much of their stack off with that crappy a hand? Those players can't think I was open shoving from early position with KJ, QJ, 22 or some other random crap that would make their hands be any more than 30% to win, can they? Really? I just truly do not understand that. And of course, these weren't the $5 tourneys, but the ones I'm in to for $30 bucks or so, which pisses me off more, because my Bodog roll is now under $500 again, and I'm now restricted to playing the micro buy-ins, because a couple of shitbirds with no talent at all an absolute inability to find the "FOLD" button on the bubble, with hands of near zero showdown value knocked me out of my best two chances for build up the roll.

So yeah, Bodog gave me a right kick in the balls all weekend long, but really, every site I played at, it was the same. So atrociously bad. There were a couple of tournaments that I busted out of by semi slow-playing big hands, (as in, not overbetting the pot just to protect AA, when ideally, I'd like one or maybe two players to see a flop with me). But even then, most of the time, it was shitbirds nevertheless calling 2.5x BB sized bets with hands like KJo, and calling down my bullets on each street with two queens on the board. I got knocked out of three consecutive tourneys while holding non-slow played AA -- once by a rivered straight, once by a four flush, and once by a two outer.

Saturday was so gawd-awful bad that I felt I couldn't go up to Blackhawk on Sunday running so bad. So what do I do? That's easy....lose as much of my roll on Sunday as I did on Saturday from the discomfort of my own home, that's what. My roll is now down a full third from it's high a month ago, and I can't remember the last time I actually made a final table, much less a top three. And the few cashes I'm getting are deluged by the number of times I'm finishing just out of the money.

So yeah, I'm hating online poker right now. Enough that I'm considering joining a 2nd band, which would eliminate any time I have to play online. Don't get me wrong, I still have a bit put away on there, but I know I'll just lose it all, it's just a matter of when. I honestly think I'm in the middle of my worst downswing ever. It doesn't matter what buy-in level, what site, whether I'm playing TAG, or whether I'm amping up the aggression. It doesn't matter whether I'm trying to overbet for value, or whether I'm trying to get cute and complete AA from the small blind. It doesn't matter whether I'm firing continuation bets, or playing stop-and-go, or whether I'm making pot-sized, 3/4 post-sized, or minraises with turned nuts. It just. Doesn't. Matter.

Of course, none of this will stop me from playing the Bodonkey events tomorrow, because heck, I'm already registered, and there's a nice overlay. But now, I'm really looking forward to our Thanksgiving trip, and the week before, when I'm out seeing bands four nights straight, and will thus gladly give up my online pokering for the week.

Okay, so enough whining.